Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Italian Switzerland (and beyond…)

After venturing quite a bit all around Switzerland during my stay, these final weeks seemed like a good opportunity to explore adjacent countries. Knowing this blog and the program as a whole is all about the Swiss experience, I allow myself to discuss some of the influences that make this country so culturally diverse and intriguing.
Around Lugano, Ticino
First such destination would be northern Italy and the canton of Ticino. Basking in an untypical constant sunny weather, this canton, defining the entire Italian speaking region of Switzerland, offers landscapes and atmosphere found nowhere else in the country. Palm trees, long stretches of sandy (lake) beaches and fine Italian cuisine make you forget for a moment that you are in the homeland of alpine cheese and chocolate. Furthermore, cities like Locarno and Lugano support vibrant nightlife and extreme sports. Just outside of Locarno, one would find Verzasca Dam, creating the small Lago Di Vogomo and protecting the Verzasca delta from getting flooded. The dam is also home to the Goldeneye Bungee Jump. First undertaken by James Bond’s stunt crew, this 220 m free fall is a must for any adrenaline junky (needless to say, I preferred watching the rocky bottom of the dam from a safe distance).

Varzasca Bungee Jump
A long weekend off work allowed me to also check out the Southern shores of France and Eastern Spain. Very different from any part of Switzerland, these regions show a clear North African influence, both culturally and demographically. Most of my time during that weekend was spent in Alicante, a coastal medieval town, constituting an important part of the region of Valencia. Everything, from its wonderful roofscapes to its long beach stretches, spells out western Europe, but also reminds you very much of Morocco.

Alicante, Valencia Region


jennypear said...

As an American with no knowledge of the official languages the possibilities are scarce.. So I would work on that.. and honestly the situation is better in the German speaking cantons so I´d give it a shot there. Logo Design | Website Design | Business Logo Design |

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